Romney: "You May Call This An Individual Mandate... I Call It The Personal Responsibility Principle"
It's a given that by the time the Democrats had decided to tackle healthcare reform, the Republicans were determined to block and obstruction anything and everything. It wouldn't have mattered what the Democrats had come up with; the GOP was determined to offer nothing but opposition. Using lame conservative principles instead of progressive ones wouldn't persuade any Republicans to sign on-- it would just make reform itself less effective. But that's what the Democrats did. They abandoned single-payer (Medicare for All) and even abandoned the fall-back, compromise (the public option). Largely because of Blue Dogs and New Dems in the House and reactionary ConservaDems in the Senate, they opted for a dubious vehicle invented by conservatives and pushed by Mitt Romney. The video above is his powerpoint presentation in early 2006 selling the individual mandate.
Romney's a hustler and a sleazy salesman. Just listen to him trying to sell the individual mandate-- and keep in mind he pushed this concept on President Obama three years later. Now? He wants Republican base voters to believe he never heard of it. And because you can't possibly be a Republican base voter and have a whit of sense or any connection to reality at all, they're buying it.
After the Supreme Court decision-- despite the tens of millions of dollars spent by the GOP to demonize it and mislead the public-- courtesy of a handful of toxic billionaires playing offense when they should be playing defense-- the nation, according to Gallup, is evenly split of the Affordable Care Act. The more likely you are o get your information from Fox or from Hate Talk Radio, the more likely you are to want the law repealed. In terms of electoral considerations, it's worth noting that only 23% of independents-- people who swing back and forth between parties-- want to see the entire law repealed.
After the court announced its decision Thursday, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney immediately vowed he would begin repealing "Obamacare" on day one of his presidency. His reaction and that of other Republicans suggests that the battle over U.S. healthcare reform isn't over, but is likely to move back to Capitol Hill-- or the White House, should Romney be elected.
When asked what they want Congress to do now that the high court has upheld the 2010 law, 31% say they would repeal the law entirely and 21% would keep the law in place but repeal parts of it. A quarter of Americans swing in the other direction, saying they would like Congress to pass legislation to expand the government's role in healthcare beyond what the current law does. Thirteen percent want to keep the law in place and do nothing further.
Views on this question are highly partisan, with 65% of Democrats coming down on the side of maintaining, if not expanding, the law, and 85% of Republicans coming down on the side of repealing it, either in whole or in part. Independents are more evenly divided, with 40% in favor of keeping or expanding the law and 49% in favor of repealing all or part of it.
Also worth mentioning that as the Supreme Court decision sinks in, support for the Affordable Care Act is rising according to other polls. Reuters found that support for the law rose to 48%, up from 43% before the court decision and that opposition slipped to 52% from 57%. Boston Globe columnist Garrett Quinn speculated yesterday that there are 3 ways the Supreme Court ruling hurt Romney: by reinvigorating the Tea Party, which will force Romney right, something that will alienate moderate, mainstream and independent voters; by forcing him off-message, talking about healthcare rather than jobs and the economy; and by making people ask how, exactly, Romneycare is different from Obamacare. "Romney is, again, in an awkward spot as he has to talk about, and defend, his groundbreaking health care law in Massachusetts but this time he has to defend it as a tax. The last thing Romney wants is to be labeled a tax hiker."